Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment and Cardiovascular Autonomic Parameters in Rugby Players: A Randomized, Sham-Controlled Trial
AutoriLuca Carnevali, Francesco Cerritelli, Franco Guolo, Andrea Sgoifo
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) on cardiovascular autonomic parameters after a rugby match.
Methods: Resting and reactivity (ie, response to orthostasis) measures of mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability were assessed in 23 male players after a single session of OMT, both 18 to 20 hours after a rugby match and in a corresponding no-match condition, in a randomized, sham-controlled, crossover design.
Results: Signs of reduced heart rate variability and elevated mean arterial pressure and heart rate were found 18 to 20 hours after a rugby match compared with the no-match condition. A significant increase in heart rate variability and a significant reduction in mean arterial pressure were observed after OMT in both the after-match and no-match conditions. Heart rate and heart rate variability responses to orthostasis were not affected by previous match competition, but were significantly larger after OMT compared with sham treatment.
Conclusion: This study suggests the presence of cardiovascular autonomic alterations in rugby players after a competitive match, which may be indicative of prolonged fatigue and incomplete recovery. In these players, favorable changes in cardiovascular autonomic parameters were observed following a single session of OMT.